As politicians scurried to find the right side of the chaotic jumble of murky accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the nominee said Monday he has no intention of backing down.
“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process,” Kavanaugh wrote in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Fox News reported. “The coordinated effort to destroy my good name will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. The last-minute character assassination will not succeed.
“There is now a frenzy to come up with something — anything — that will block this process and a vote on my confirmation from occurring. These are smears, pure and simple. And they debase our public discourse.”
Kavanaugh’s confirmation process began with unparalleled Democratic hostility. One week before a scheduled Senate Judiciary Committee vote on his nomination, committee member and California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein released a two-month-old letter she had received that claimed as a high school student, Kavanaugh acted toward a girl in an inappropriate manner while both were at a party.
Since then, accuser Christine Blasey Ford and her attorney have demanded an investigation into her allegations, as Senate Democrats have called for the vote against Kavanaugh to be shelved. On Sunday, days before Ford and Kavanaugh are scheduled to appear before the committee so they can speak publicly on Ford’s accusations, two new accusations were leveled.
One was raised in The New Yorker, which wrote about a claim from former Yale student Deborah Ramirez, who claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while at a college party. Another allegation landed from celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti, who claimed he was on the trail of evidence linking Kavanaugh to a ring responsible for gang-raping high school girls in the 1980s.
Amid all that, news accounts have suggested Kavanaugh’s once-solid Republican support has quivered, with some media accounts taking shape that the confirmation vote might not go Kavanaugh’s way.
On Monday, Kavanaugh replied to his accusers and those unsure what to believe with a letter that amounted to a verbal broadside declaring that he was guilty of nothing and would stay in his nomination fight until the finish.
Kavanaugh noted that the last-minute allegations followed a process in which he answered 31 hours worth of questions and “responded to more than 1,200 written questions, more than have been submitted to all previous Supreme Court nominees combined.”
Kavanaugh noted in the letter that he denied every allegation and that to date, no one has supported any claims against him.
“All of the witnesses identified by Dr. Ford as being present at the party she describes are on the record to the Committee saying they have no recollection of any such party happening,” he said. “Last night, another false and uncorroborated accusation from 35 years ago was published. Once again, those alleged to have been witnesses to the event deny it ever happened.”
Kavanaugh reminded the senators he is not a quitter.
“Women from every phase of my life have come forward to attest to my character,” Kavanaugh wrote. “I am grateful to them. I owe it to them, and to my family, to defend my integrity and my name. I look forward to answering questions from the Senate on Thursday.”
Kavanaugh said that the attacks are not only harming him, they undercut the foundations of America’s government.
” … they debase our public discourse. But they are also a threat to any man or woman who wishes to serve our country. Such grotesque and obvious character assassination — if allowed to succeed — will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from service. As I told the Committee during my hearing, a federal judge must be independent, not swayed by public or political pressure. That is the kind of judge I will always be,” he said.
As Kavanaugh stood tall, some Republican senators stood with him, according to The New York Times.
Every accuser deserves to be heard.
Moreover, a person who has committed sexual assault should not serve on the Supreme Court.
But the way my Democratic colleagues have approached these allegations makes clear that the driving objective here is not truth, but politics. pic.twitter.com/cZYgwWuIgy
— Senator Hatch Office (@senorrinhatch) September 24, 2018
Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said Democrats “will stop at nothing to prevent Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation” and said it was time for a vote this week.
Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton supported that step.
“The Democrats are engaged in a campaign of delay and character assassination against Judge Kavanaugh,” Cotton said. “It’s time to vote this week.”
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